Original Recipe: (from Libro della cocina an anonymous Tuscan manuscript)

De li Sparaci. Togli li sparaci, e fail bollire; quando sieno bolliti, poalli a cocere con oglio, cipolle, sale e zaffarano, e spezie trite, o senza.

Translation: (from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy)

Of asparagus. Take the asparagus and boil it when it is cooked, put it to cook with oil, onions, salt, and saffron, and with ground spices, or without asparagus, onion, olive oil, salt, saffron, pepper

My Interpretation:

1 lb. asparagus

1 small onion

1 tbsp. olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of saffron

pinch of ground pepper

Clean and snip asparagus. Steam until just tender. In the meantime chop onion and sauté in oil until translucent, add salt and spices. Serve sautéed onions over asparagus.


The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy; Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, translated to the English by Edward Schneider; The University of Chicago Press, 1998

The Original Mediterranean Cuisine, Barbara Santich, Chicago Review Press, 1995